Tag:fantasy baseball
Posted on: April 12, 2009 1:32 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/11/09

A Happy Easter to all those who celebrate.  A happy Sunday of baseball to everyone else.  On to the game notes!

"Tigers SP Justin Verlander has thrown 177 pitches in 8 2/3 innings over his first two starts, allowing 11 runs -- nine earned -- on 10 hits and six walks."   Verlander is picking up where he left off last year.  He stinks. On the Tigers staff, the only reliable pitcher since 2008 has been Armando Galarraga.  Galarraga's ERA by comparison is only 1.29.

"Curtis Granderson is the only Tigers player to have a hit in all six games this season."   Granderson was a point of contention for many fantasy analysts.  Some thought his power and average would wane.  (I have no idea why.) Regardless, Granderson is proving the detractors wrong with his early season performance. 

An interesting development on the Geovany Soto injury. "Cubs Manager Lou Piniella said C Geovany Soto's sore right shoulder is improving. But with the Cubs carrying only one catcher -- Hill, who is playing with a sore toe -- Soto could go to the disabled list if he isn't ready for backup duty by Monday."  Tough news for fantasy owners in that Geo might be lost for Week 2.  As a Soto owner, I'm looking for a temporary back up.

"Indians DH Travis Hafner got the day off after hitting a homer in his previous two games." It's great to see Hafner get off to a good start.  Some have him targeted as the comeback player of the year.  So far, he's a great late round addition to your lineup.  He's still available in 21% of leagues.

"Coming into the game, Pirates OF Nate McLouth was only 1-for-14 with a homer."   McLouth broke out of his early season slump going 2 for 3 with a HR and RBI single.  I'm not worried about McLouth. I don't see last season's success at the plate as a abberation.

"Cardinals LF Skip Schumaker, who hit .168 against lefties last season (20-for-119), is 4-for-6 against southpaws thus far."   Schumaker was projected to have a good season.  His availability at 2B as wel as OF makes him a valuable fantasy commodity.

'Washington RF Elijah Dukes missed the game with a mild right groin strain. He injured throwing home Friday night when Atlanta's Jordan Schafer scored the winning run." Dukes has played well when he's had the playing time.  Unfortunately, he hasn't seen the field often and when he did, he was injured.  There's no reason to keep Dukes active in Week 2 with his limited play and injury.

"Padres C Henry Blanco has homered twice in a game three times, the last coming on April 10, 2004, at Detroit."   With consistent playing time, Blanco is a servicable option at C for most fantasy teams.  Blanco still has some pop in his bat and has consistently hit for average.  Maybe I'll pick him up as my replacement for Soto...

Filed under the Statistics for Baseball Geeks category: "A's SS Orlando Cabrera was 1-for-2 against Hernandez and is 16-for-32 (.500) lifetime, the best of any hitter with significant at-bats against the right-hander...Nolasco fell to 2-6 with an ERA of 6.36 in 12 games against the Mets."

Injury Update: "Twins C Joe Mauer is scheduled to begin a running program early next week, Gardenhire said. Gardenhire added that Mauer is attempting to speed up his recovery schedule but team doctors are holding him back. "Everything has gone really good. Catching, bullpens and hitting on the field," Gardenhire said. "He feels great. He wants to push the envelope. He wants to go." The team has declined to give a timetable for the two-time All-Star's return... "

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 11, 2009 1:42 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/10/09

By now you should have an idea of the makeup of your team.  Now is the time of the season where you begin to look to make changes to your lineup.  The difficulty for the fantasy owner is deciding whether to keep the faith in those you drafted or cut them loose.  Perhaps the game notes have some advice...

"Detroit closer Brandon Lyon, who blew a save in Toronto, was booed when he was introduced before the game." Detroit has its own brand of suck when it comes to relievers.  There was little need for the GM to take Lyon off their hands.  Don't expect much from Lyon this year.

"Texas' OF Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer -- his third of the year -- in the ninth."   Cruz is certainly performing better than his draft position would indicate.  Fantasy owners are taking notice as well.  Perhaps you drafted him on his potential.  Get him in your lineup while he's hot.

"Cubs Manager Lou Piniella said C Geovany Soto was not likely to play in the three-game series because of tendinitis in his right shoulder, but should be available in a few days."  Good news for Cubs fans and Soto owners.  The MRI showed only inflammation in the shoulder.  Soto should be back in action in Week 2.

"The Indians will skip No. 5 starter Anthony Reyes on Saturday so Cliff Lee can face Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners. "Too bad it didn't happen for opening day," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said." Chances are you don't own Reyes anyway.  The skipped start is a reason why you should avoid 5th starters in your lineup. 

"Marlins RF Cody Ross went 0-for-3 and is batting .067 (1-for-15)."  Get my gun, Martha!  It's time to thin the herd. 22% of fantasy owners have Ross on their rosters.  Chances are there are better options available to you.

"One visitor who likes the new Busch (Stadium in St. Louis) is Roy Oswalt, who starts Saturday for Houston. He's 1-1 with a 1.83 ERA in five career starts, his lowest ERA at any ballpark where he has made at least five starts."  If you are one of those owners who pays great attention to player tendencies, this is one of those neat statistical findings for baseball geeks.

"Boston 1B Kevin Youkilis went 2-for-4, becoming the first Boston player to have multiple hits in the club's first four games since Jose Offerman and Mike Stanley did it to start the 1999 season."   I avoided Youkilis this season.  I didn't think he would play well.  Boston fans are glad he proved me wrong.  Youk has been his typical productive self early in the season.

"San Diego's three new starters -- Walter Silva, Kevin Correia and Hill -- have a combined 3.93 ERA through their first starts."   Petco Park has been labeled as a pitcher's park since it's opening.  This lil stat only proves the point.

Injury Update: "Outfielder Jose Guillen, who led the Royals with 93 RBI last year, was placed on the 15-day DL with a partially torn hip flexor. He also led the Royals with 20 homers last year after signing a $36 million, three-year free agent contract...Braves 3B Chipper Jones was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday's start with a bruised left thumb...Twins RHP Scott Baker (stiff right shoulder) proclaimed himself ready to rejoin Minnesota's rotation after earning a win for Class-A Fort Myers on Friday night. Baker, on the 15-day DL because of soreness in his right shoulder, gave up one run and five hits in seven innings. He threw 70 pitches, 51 for strikes. "If he's feeling good, he needs to stretch out and make sure he continues to feel good," Gardenhire said before the game...OF Ichiro Suzuki was 5-for-10 in controlled games played at the Mariners' spring training complex in Arizona and is expected to join the team in Seattle on Monday."

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 10, 2009 5:20 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/09/09

Thursday saw baseball mourning the death of potential. "A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, who was killed Thursday in a traffic accident."  My condolences go to Adenhart's family.  They also go to the 37 other families who where had fatalities in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver yesterday, and today, and tomorrow, and the day after that...

"Jays 1B Lyle Overbay snapped an 0-for-11 streak with a second-inning single."   Overbay was not expected to be an elite fantasy player, but his .200 BA has to have Bay owners worried.  Most leagues have better options available to owners on the waiver wire.

"Twins C Mike Redmond returned after missing the previous two with a groin injury. He went 1-for-2 with a walk, but hobbled on the bases." Redmond is merely marking time until Joe Mauer returns from injury.  Given Redmond's own pains, owners are best looking elsewhere for a replacement while Mauer rehabs.

"Bucs 2B Freddy Sanchez was 0-for-4, ending a string of three multihit games to start the season for Pittsburgh, which had 17 hits in a 7-4 victory on Wednesday." Sanchez is starting the season on a hot streak and has the ability to provide value for a fantasy team.  His downside is that he can go cold just as easily.  At 60% ownership in leagues, there's a possibility that he is available in your league.  Considering how weak the position is this year, Sanchez might represent an improvement to your roster.

"Orioles reliever Chris Ray gave up two runs in the ninth, lifting his ERA to 27.00 compared to 0.00 in spring training."  Meanwhile, his opposite number "Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for the Yankees." Coming into the season, there was talk that Rivera was finished...yet again.  Ray on the other hand had the potential to be the latest lights out closer.  So much for that talk.

"It's the third time in Boston SP Daisuke Matsuzaka's career he has allowed three home runs in a game."  Dice-K does not stay frequently past the 5th inning so any runs he gives up will inflate his ERA.  Thursday's game had to be a disappointment to his owners.  5.1 INN, 9 H, 4 ER, 3BB, and 3 HR for an ERA of 6.75.  The good news was that he struck out 5.

"Indians OF Grady Sizemore had his seventh career multihomer game. He struck out his other three at-bats."  I'm hoping that this feast or famine approach at the plate is not Sizemore's new MO. The two homers came with 7 Ks so far.  Keep Sizemore in for now unless his hitting continues to tank.  The Indians can't play the Texans every game.

Streakers! "Ryan Ludwick singled in the seventh and has hit in a career-best 14 straight games dating to last season."


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 9, 2009 6:18 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/08/09

Baseball can be such a nice distraction.  I think somedays we need to forget about our worries.  Let's check the game notes.

"The series finale Thursday will mark the first time since baseball's draft began in 1965 that two first-round picks will face each other in their respective major league debuts. Toronto will start left-hander Ricky Romero, the sixth-overall pick in 2005, while Detroit counters with right-hander Rick Porcello, taken 27th in 2007."   Romero is Toronto's number 4 pitcher.  He didn't do a whole lot in Double A last year.  I don't think he has much fantasy value yet.  Porcello is a different story.  His strong pitching in the spring earned him a spot in the Tigers' rotation. Detroit has a history of pushing its young arms into the bigs.  Considering the dearth of talent in the Tigers' lineup, only a total collapse will send him to the minors.

"Piniella said C Geovany Soto was going to Chicago on Thursday for what Piniella termed a 'precautionary' evaluation of his sore right shoulder. Soto left Tuesday's game early and didn't play Wednesday. Piniella said Soto could be ready for Friday's game in Milwaukee. "He should be OK in a few days," Piniella said. "We'll see how he is on Friday."   There's some conflicting information surrounding Soto's injury.  Soto said this was a tweak of a spring injury.  The Cubs say this is something new and now are sending him to Chicago for evaluation.  It looks like Soto is out for the rest of the week.  Keep an eye on him before putting him in your Week 2 lineup.

"Yankees starters in two games have yet to record a strikeout." Dump your Yankees!  So I can pick them up...  This really means nothing.  Its a statistical anomoly.

"Marlins 1B Jorge Cantu left shortly after getting hit in the left hand by a Cabrera offering in the fifth. X-rays were negative." Cantu was off to a sizzling start to the season batting over 400 with 2 jacks and 5 RBI.  Keep an eye on Cantu.  Hopefully, the rest from today's day off and treatment will have him back in the lineup.

Through 5 innings, Boston SP Jon Lester allowed 8 H, 5 ER for a 9.00 ERA. "Lester allowed five runs or more in only five of his 33 regular-season starts last year."  This is likely an outlier for Lester.  He remains a solid fantasy pitcher.

"Phillies SP Cole Hamels, the World Series and NLCS MVP, is expected to start for the Phillies at Colorado on Friday. Hamels was supposed to pitch the opener, but was pushed back because of minor elbow problems."  Good news for Hamels owners.

Twins OF Denard Span continues to impress. "Span has reached base in seven of 13 plate appearances." Batting leadoff, he is leading the Twins in BA and has 2 RBI.  Span is owned in 49% of leagues.  Chances are you can pick him up.

"Mets OF Gary Sheffield worked in the outfield before the game, getting ready to play eventually. Sheffield, who was Detroit's DH, was released last week and signed a one-year deal with the Mets. Manager Jerry Manuel said he could play as soon as this weekend. "We're just trying to get him into outfield shape more than anything else," Manuel said."   If you start and play Sheffield, you get what you deserve.  The Tigers who traded a decent prospect for a ROOKIE to play OF in place of Sheffield had no use for him.  That should be telling.

"Reds CF Willy Taveras was out of the lineup for the second game because of an illness. He pinch hit and tripled off Putz in the eighth." Taveras will never be mistaken for a hitting machine, but his speed does warrant a position in roto leagues.

I love the circus that is the Chicago White Sox. "Guillen said he will drop Dewayne Wise from the leadoff spot if he continues to struggle, but wouldn't set a specific timetable before the game. Fans booed him loudly in the opener and let him hear it again Wednesday, when fouled out to the catcher on a bunt with a runner on first in the third inning. He's 0-for-8 overall. On Tuesday, he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and failed twice to put down a sacrifice bunt in the eighth. "To be honest with you, I don't like a couple of at-bats he took [at the end]," Guillen said afterward. "I think he didn't want to strike out. I want him to be aggressive." But wait!  There's more!  "Opening day starter Mark Buehrle seemed a bit taken aback by Guillen's recent assertion that he needs to report to spring training in better shape. "I look at the offseason as resting for the season," Buehrle said. "[I] throw 200 innings during the season. I don't want to play catch all offseason. I think it's a time to rest."

"Cardinals OF Ryan Ludwick singled in the fourth and has hit in 13 straight games dating to last season."  I avoided Ludwick in drafts because of his K rate and the penalties that some leagues assess.  In hindsight, I wish I hadn't.  Ludwick is still mashing and does not look to be slowing down.

"Rookie shortstop Everth Cabrera made his major league debut for the Padres. He got his first hit with a two-out double in the seventh. He also scored his first run in the fifth after walking."    Good for the kid.  It's great to see a rookie do something good with the bat.  Cabrera is not the everyday SS in San Diego yet.  For deep NL-only leagues he might be worth a flier.

On a personal note, baseball has always meant a lot to me,  I am one of those believers that see a lot of parallels between life and the national pasttime.  Yesterday, I lost my job; another casualty of the recession and Detroit's troubles.  I was naturally down and had a decent case of self-pity going.  

Angels SP Nick Adenhart died in a car accident on Wednesday night.  Adenhart was full of promise and had a full life and career ahead of him.  When put in that perspective, the idea of a spring at home with my family while I look for a job is not a reason for to be down, but a reason to celebrate.

My thoughts are with the Adenhart family.

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 8, 2009 11:05 am

Notes for Games Played 04/07/09

I'm glad to see the Tigers returning to thier old form - blown saves and making the home team look good. *sigh* On to the game notes!

"Tigers RHP Joel Zumaya (sore right shoulder) threw 43 pitches in an extended spring training game." Zumaya is a shell of the exciting player he was in 2006. He is far too injury-prone to warrant a closer spot no matter how badly Detroit needs him in the bullpen.

"Royals OF Coco Crisp led off the game with a single and was 1-for-5 in his debut with the Royals" Crisp's move to KC changes his fantasy value dramatically. He's not competing for playing time as he was with the Sox and he's leading off. The sheer number of increased at bats should increase his fantasy value. Crisp is only owned in 70% of leagues.

Giants SP Tim Lincecum lasted only three innings yesterday. "None of Lincecum's starts last season was shorter than four innings" I bring this up because buried in Lincecum's line for the day (3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER,and a 9.00 ERA) are 5 Ks. Lincecum had an off day and his team still won. You might be able to steal Lincecum from a jittery owner by playing up the poor performance.

"Braves SP Jair Jurrjens went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA as a rookie last year." I expect even better things from Jurrjens this year. His outing yesterday was solid - 4 hits over 5.2 inning with 3 BB and 2 K. Jurrjens got the win and didn't give up a run.

"Mariners Manager Don Wakamatsu was relieved when pitcher Felix Hernandez entered the clubhouse before the game and appeared to be healthy. Hernandez turned his right ankle twice Monday during a victory against the Twins. Wakamatsu said there was slight swelling but Hernandez should be fine." Good news for Hernandez owners. The Mariners and fantasy owners are expecting big things from him this year.

"Pirates 3B Andy LaRoche committed his third error in two games when he dropped Pujols' popup with two out in the third." LaRoche is targeted as a sleeper by a number of fantasy analysts this year. They expect him to fulfill the potential that the Dodgers organization saw. LaRoche, however, would have killed me in one of my leagues as it penalizes for errors. Know you rules before picking up players who K or are prone to fielding errors.

Diamondback SS Stephen Drew rewarded all of you fantasy owners who overpaid for him this year. "Drew went 2-for-3 with a walk." Count me as an unbeliever, but I am willing to convert.

"Padres RHP Walter Silva is scheduled to make his big league debut on Wednesday night against the Dodgers." Not even the Dodgers have much on Silva. A career-long Mexican league picther, Silva secured a spot in the Padres rotation with Cha Seung Baek on the DL. Considering the venue where Silva will do most of his work, owners in deep NL-only leagues could do a lot worse.

In a totally non-fantasy related bit of errata..."The attendance-challenged Marlins had an announced crowd of 11,124 in the second game of the season." You have to wonder how long baseball will remain in south Florida. To give you an idea of how paltry that attendance number is, the St. Louis Cardinals had their lowest attendance figure since the move to their new stadium yesterday as well. "The crowd of 35,206 was the smallest ever at the new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006."


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 7, 2009 4:20 pm

Notes for 04/06/09 - Opening Day

Opening Day!  My Tigers lost, the Cubs won, and MSU played the for the national championship in basketball.  In the grand scheme of things, it was a pretty goo day.  On to the game notes!

"Tigers SP Justin Verlander also allowed eight earned runs in a loss to Cleveland on Aug. 26, 2006." Verlander is the shadow of his 2006 and 2007 self.  Unfortunately, he picked up where he left off in the suck department from the 2008 season. 

"Rangers SP Kevin Millwood is the first Rangers pitcher to start four consecutive openers. Ryan and Charlie Hough both started three in a row. Millwood had lost his first three."  Milwood had a nice line on the way to his first win of the season  (7 INN 1 R, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB).  I picked him up in one of my deeper leagues. 

"RHP Bronson Arroyo, who had a flare-up of carpal tunnel syndrome during spring training, threw before the game and felt good. The Reds decided to let him make his originally scheduled start on Thursday against the Mets instead of resting for the week. "It felt like I was throwing twice as hard as I normally do," Arroyo said."  This is good news and bad news for Arroyo owners.  The good news is that Arroyo is doing well enough to assume his place in rotation.  The bad news is that a Sunday start would have been against the Pirates instead of the Mets.

"Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is expected to begin working out next Monday at New York's minor league camp in Florida." It looks like the 6 to 9 week original prognosis is going to pan out.  Look for A-Roid to join the Yankees by the end of the month.

"The Diamondbacks play 18 of their first 21 games at home."   Now might be an ideal time to play your D-Backs...

"Mariner's OF Ichiro's bloodwork will be back Wednesday, and if it's clear the Mariners will consider a schedule for him to play in some minor league games. On the DL because of a bleeding ulcer, he's eligible to be activated April 15. "He wants to play in a game, like yesterday," Wakamatsu said. "We're slowing him down. ... Until that point, we want him just to keep working out."   To me, this is great news.  It sounds like Ichiro will be back in the line up sooner than originally thought.

"Nationals 1B Nick Johnson went 1-for-4 playing in his first game in nearly 11 months following a wrist injury"   Johnson is of little value with the presence of Adam Dunn on the roster.  Even if Johnson were to catch fire, its only a matter of time before he is injured again.

"Padres OF Cliff Floyd was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder, retroactive to Sunday. OF Drew Macias was recalled from Triple-A Portland to fill Floyd's roster spot."  You weren't really going to put Floyd on your roster?

Best of luck for the rest of the week and the season!



Category: MLB
Posted on: April 7, 2009 10:02 am

April 5, 2009 - Opening Night

Ah yes, two days late and more than a dollar short...  Back for another glorious season of game notes.  In case you happen to be new to my little corner of the interblags, I blog most every day about the game notes from MLB.  At the end of nearly every game recap writers place the "game notes."  Game notes are nothing more than factoids or extraneous information that the writer felt was interesting or simply didn't fit within the fabric of the story.  I find value in these items.  I hope you do too.

Phillies phans take heart. You lost last year's season operner as well and look how 2008 turned out. "The Phillies are 56-69-2 in openers. They've lost four consecutive openers for the first time since dropping eight in a row from 1985-92."

Honestly, here's the only fantasy nugget from the opening night game notes. "Jordan Schafer is the first Braves player to make his big league debut as a starter on opening day since LF Rufino Linares in 1981"  It was reported that Schafer was so nervous before the the game, the manager thought he was going to drop his bat when he came to the plate.  Schafer did slightly better than that by knocking the ball out of the park in his first big league at bat.  Schafer is definitely worth a flyer in NL only or deeper mixed leagues. He obviously has some pop in his bat, but is also prone to strikeouts.

Posted on: March 9, 2009 4:52 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2009 5:01 pm

Drafting Over Your Head

Two down and two to go.  Last night I completed what was quite possibly my worst baseball draft in a couple years.  I would love to blame the booze, but I came into this one sober. I was simply outclassed.

Clear of mind and focused on the task at hand, I sequestered myself to the man cave.  Armed with Red Bull (OK, more than just a splash of vodka), my notes, projections, and the USA baseball on the TV for motivation, I drafted like a tequila-fueled Jim Bowden after a night at a Dominican den of iniquity  . My fellow league owners were one step ahead of me at nearly every turn.  I became annoyed, angry, and ultimately, exhausted.  At least I think I learned something.

1.  Your next pick WILL get taken.   If you are playing against a quality opponent, they will be on their game. Chances are they have been reviewing similar if not the identical resources you have.  You might even be friendly with them and god forbid, you might have even discussed strategy.  In other words, Ricky Nolasco is not a sleeper

2.  Don't get flustered. Everyone else is changing their plans too.  Just because your next stealth pick was taken is not justification for you to reach for your deep sleeper at that position.  Have your plan B for every pick.

3.  The pre-determined rankings are crap.  I appreciate CBS offering the mock drafts.  They are great practice.  But they are not the Elias Sports Bureau.  You won't be drating against "ilikemudkipz" in two weeks.  Just because he and a cadre of others think Big Papi is a second round draft pick does not make it so.

4.  That next drink, while tempting, will inevitably lead to at least one bad decision.  Hey, you learned this while barfing on Max's shoes in 1984...

Time to toughen up.  Learn from my mistakes and hide the booze.  Who am I kidding?  Can I have a refill?

While the waitress is getting the next round, give a listen to some Death Cab for Cutie.




The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com